Are designation and certification the same?

Certification is one component in our designation process. Certification is recognition of meeting a specific professional qualification standard. Designation considers broad professional accomplishments and recognizes lifelong career excellence and achievement. These achievements are verified and validated through a third-party peer review process.

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What is the CPC model?

Our Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) model is designed to assist in the professional development of fire and emergency service personnel by providing guidance for career planning through participation in the program. Our five designations specify minimum eligibility requirements, in the form of academic achievements and practical experience. The designations also look at what contributions the individual has made to the industry in the way of professional articles, teaching, and public speaking. In addition, professional memberships and community and civic involvement are assessed.

Achieving the designation demonstrates that you have developed a strategy for continued career improvement and development. When you earn one of these prestigious designations you gain distinction and recognition in a growing group of your peers.

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Is there a deadline to submit my application for designation?

No -The Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) accepts applications for designation throughout the year.

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What are the benefits of seeking a designation from CPC?

Working towards, achieving, and maintaining your designation will:

  • Highlight your professional growth
  • Document strategies for your career enhancement and development
  • Demonstrate your commitment to life-long learning, skill development, and community service
  • Affirm your dedication to proficiency and delivery of all-hazard services to your community
  • Improve your chances of being successful in hiring and promotion processes by identifying you as a candidate with superior skills, knowledge, and leadership capabilities
  • Foster a source of pride for you or those in your agency you encourage to become credentialed

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Are there credentialing consortium groups?

Credentialed professionals have found that banding together to form regional consortiums is an effective networking opportunity. Click here to see the consortium in your area, who to contact for more information, and details on their meeting frequency and location.

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Once retired from a fire department, can a designee maintain designated status?

Yes – Once an officer becomes designated, they can retain their status as long as currency is maintained in the components identified in the renewal process.

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Do you need to hold the rank of "chief officer" in order to apply for Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO)?

No – The CEMSO applies to officers overseeing EMS functions within their department/organization.

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Do you need to hold the rank of "Chief officer" in order to apply for Chief Training Officer (CTO)?

No – The CTO applies to officers administering training and education programs within their department.

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Does CPC accept degrees from nationally accredited universities?

Yes – The CPC recognizes degrees from regionally and nationally accredited universities.

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Once my portfolio is submitted how long does the review process take?

The timeline is typically 60-90 days from receipt of the portfolio to a decision by the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC). The peer review team usually takes 45-60 days to review the package, conduct the interview, and make a recommendation to the CPC. CPC is the conferring body and typical meets six times a year.

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Points in the complexity section of the Fire Officer application are reversed from the other designations. Is this correct?

Yes – Typically a company officer in a smaller department will have a wider range of duties and responsibilities than one from a larger department.

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What are the costs and requirements for each of the CPC credentials?

The initial fees range from $225 for Fire Officer to $375 for Chief Fire Officer, Chief EMS Officer, Chief Training Officer and Fire Marshal. You can find more about the fees for renewal and if you have multiple designations here.

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How are CPC commissioners selected?

The Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) has 11 members that represent a cross-section of the fire and emergency service, including career, combination, and volunteer fire departments, city and county management, labor, academia, EMS, fire prevention, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

CPSE solicits and accepts nominations from appropriate organizations that align with the seat in which the vacancy represents. Commissioners are appointed by the CPSE Board of Directors.

Click here to see the current CPC Commissioners.

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How long are CPC commissioners appointed for?

CPC Commissioners are appointed to serve an initial term of three (3) years and are eligible to be reappointed by the CPSE Board of Directors up to a maximum of three (3) terms of three (3) years each.

Click here to see the current CPC Commissioners

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How are CPC peer reviewers selected?

Individuals interested in serving as a CPC peer reviewer must be a current designee in good standing for the program in which they will review portfolios.

Prior to serving as a peer reviewer, the designee will receive mandatory web-based training through the CPC.

Once approved, peer reviewers must maintain currency and familiarity with the program and application requirements and attend mandatory continuing education training.

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What is the process for credential application, review and approval?

The process is explained on How to Get Credentialed.

Learn more about how to get credentialed or Contact Us to chat about the credentialing process.